Food, Farms and Fresh Water (FFFW) is developing an accreditation brand for beef and New Zealand meat that recognises and promotes responsible waterway management by focusing on the sustainability of farming practice. The organisation provides high quality and fresh red meat with an important difference - it enables consumers to support sheep and cattle farmers who are actively taking steps to look after the natural environment and reducing their environmental impact.
According to co founder Natasha Garvan FFFW's vision is to create a social enterprise that facilitates meaningful New Zealand wide improvement in water quality with co-benefits. This includes supporting strong rural communities, improving biodiversity, and enabling consumers to take ownership of water quality issues. "Our red meat product will be independently verified as meeting limits which provide for 'swimmable' and 'fishable' freshwater."
Consumers will also be encouraged to be part of the solution of achieving water quality through paying a price premium for their food which will help farmers offset the costs of going greener. "We are attempting to provide a premium to farmers to reinvest in the farming practices which are delivering the environmental services that all New Zealanders want," says Garvan.
The organisation has already achieved certification success of a 142ha beef-finishing property in Taupo restricting farming to strict nitrogen limits protecting the lake for future generations, verified by the Waikato Regional Council.
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Launchpad participation will help FFFW to launch additional pilot studies with farmers in farming waterway catchments throughout New Zealand as well as further refine its business plan and financial model.